Sunday, March 15, 2015

Could not resist or making the best of some down time!

While visiting Rob and Ocean Villa at Baja Naval casually asked Roberto who is a customer support manager at the yard, “What would be the cost of painting the hull on WORKNOT?”   It’s something we want to do eventually,  freshen up the boat and cover 2 patches made in the port side of the hull.   Patching gelcoat is an art and often the patch “ages” at a different pace than the parent material (hull).  This was the case for us.  When we purchased WORKNOT you could only see the portside patch in certain light at a certain angle.   As the boat aged the patch became more evident and buffing and waxing did not help.  

Like most boating issues there is no clear one path to a repair or fix.  Traditionally, yachts are painted with Awlgrip (POLYESTER BASED)  or other very hard and abrasion resistive  paints.   Developed for aircraft, Awlgrip has been the standard for yacht  finish for years given its high gloss and durability. 

The biggest downside is repairs are almost impossible.  Our Grand Banks 46 was painted with Awlgrip and the appearance was stunning in Jade Mist Green. 

 We were however,  never able to have scratches etc repaired without making the finish worse. Many megayachts get repainted every 7 years or so.   Painting the cabin and superstructure is very labor intensive and the costs rival a fine sports car and more for a 80-100 ft yacht.  Painting the hull is much simpler but its still a big $ commitment mostly for vanity.  Lately, newer paints that can be repaired (ACRYLIC URETHANE) are gaining acceptance and we choose AwlCraft for WORKNOT.  Not  as durable as AwlGrip but should give us another 10 years with the ability to repair any impacts.   (Both of the repairs that led us to paint the hull were from other boats hitting WORKNOT at the dock-once when owned by the previous owner by Towboat US and the other by the San Diego pirate boat while we owned WORKNOT.   (End-tie slips have a great view but do have some downside).

Scheduled to be two to three weeks on the hard we were lifted by Baja Naval on 2/9/2015 and placed next to Ocean Villa for sanding and prep work.  We stayed on-board and can attest to Rob’s work ethic as the steel grinding started each morning at 7 AM and lasted well into the evening.  Meanwhile the yard was sanding on our boat with two and sometimes three workers.  The Starbucks downtown, just a short walk away became a popular spot for us.   



Lots of options when doing a hull paint job and one is removal of hardware or mask around it.  We choose to remove the rubrails, breast plate and misc hardware and leave only the hawse holes in place to be masked.   To save some $ I removed the hardware myself.   Hundreds of screws and hours of prying stainless steel from the hull, working after hours when the crew was gone, got the hardware removed. 

 Most difficult was the breast plate just below the anchor.   It protects the hull form the anchor and adds some bling to the bow. 

 Over 2 hours just to get the adhesive to release and remove the plate.   Numbering and storing the hardware reminded me of working for Prospect Boat Works, back in high school, which build custom aluminum boats in the 50-75’ class.   A wonderful experience that I’m grateful for.  The education received from Arthur Pluckebaum and the team on how to drive a project, accomplish much with limited resources etchas benefited me in so many ways beyond just being able to work on my own boat.    

Having a boat on the hard is exhausting!  Main deck on the boat is about 8’ off the ground and it’s a steep ladder or staircase for each trip on and off the boat.   Working off a scaffold or ladder to remove hardware takes a toll.   Additionally, like every yard we have ever been on, you have to watch the work progress daily.  Working on a yard in Mexico is a little more challenging as most of the workforce does not speak English.  If there is a question, off to the office in search of Roberto every time.  

Progress on the paint job was going very well and I went to San Diego for a meeting.  When I returned “watching the work every day” bit us as the yard put the wrong bottom paint on while I was gone.   This required a few frantic calls to the paint manufacturer and a yard meeting.  Baja Naval owned up to the error and sanded off the new bottom paint per the manufacturer’s directions and repainted as specified.  Can’t ask for a better outcome than that but you can’t tell the two types of paint (ablative and hard) apart after application.  Reinforces the need to be on the yard with the boat.  


Here are few shots of the finished work.  It looks great and we got just what we wanted.  We even painted the waterline Jade Mist Green as a tip of the hat to our Grand Banks.
On launch day it rained most of the morning.  We were scheduled to be launched after “Blessed” a Nordhavn 43.  Once we were in the slings it rained so hard the yard stopped the launch and left us hanging in the slings until the wind and rain slowed down.   Think this is about the 3rd time WORKNOT has been rained on in 14 months......Living right I guess. 

This is our favorite sign, taken from inside the boat as we were being launched. 


 2/28/15 the launch finally got done, wind let off just in time and we got out of the launch well without any new scratches on WORKNOT.  Back to Cruiseport for a few days and then we head to San Diego as the first leg of our trip to the Pacific Northwest!

Thanks to all at Baja Naval including Roberto, "Wopert", Diego and Thomas.  

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